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tv   [untitled]    June 15, 2011 10:00am-10:30am PDT

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when you are clearing your violations, one of the things you must do is we ensure you have been the penalties and compensated us for staff time. that is done when you have your permit abated. if it keeps going and there is no action after the order of abatement, we can refer to the city attorney, and we do on a regular basis. we have committee hearings meeting bimonthly. is there a list of repeated violators, given certain categories, there are owners of buildings looking to selling their buildings. there is a continued
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maintenance and care and the district inspectors would be aware of that. >> this particular case has an antiquated boilers system. when it was brought to my attention, we have one person who specializes in boilers. he brought back some pictures and issued a notice of violation. there was a lot of asbestos and we told him to clear that out. he identified certain things that had to be updated on the system and we expect they will probably get a new system in there. >> can i talk about responding to these complaints and how the owners fix them quickly? you talked about having outside
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contractors go in there and fix -- >> of the code allows us to do it. >> is there anyway we can implement that? >> there are very few that they would not step forward and fix the heat. this particular property owner, it seems to be problematic and we have sent down a boiler specialist and there is a notice of violation on that particular boiler and we are following through with it. >> if the process for the property owner is to appeal -- it sounds as if they are -- it sounds like they know the process and they're dragging it
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out to the last possible moment to fix something. is there any way to push them all little more and say don't drag this out. threaten them that we are going to go in and do this work. >> that is always the threat. >> is a long process to go out and look for a contractor to do the work. >> for things like heat and hot water, anything that is dangerous, we shorten the process as much as we can. >> how do we shorten that? >> by only giving them 24 hours. >> if you give them 24 hours and they do not do it, do we go find a contractor? >> we have not done that in the 12 years i have been year. i take that back. i know of one case and we still
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have not got our money back. >> is there a list of contractors available that can do that for the department? >> the city has emergency contractors. >> there is? >> but they would still have to get access and they would still have to mobilize. >> i agree that there is a very small percentage of those who are not doing this stuff. i agree that -- do we have any money in the fund for this sort of thing? >> yes. but it was depleted until six months ago. the director put a lot of effort into getting funds available for that.
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>> i agree that this really small% should be paid, step up to the plate, whatever means necessary, have a list of 10 small renovation contractors, you can get a bit off of each one of them and get the work done and then go to the assessor's office or whenever you have to do to collect. if this small percentage of landlords know the program is there, i think they are going to get results much faster. >> probably -- a big job that we
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did on would street depleted the program's funds and certainly the last three or four years, we did not have the funds to do that. we are -- we have some large projects coming in and they have made it a priority to get funds for the program. >> we can talk about that later in the next item of the budget. this could maybe be something we want to implement. >> this might be good for everybody, especially if we can charged the owner two times or three times the cost. it gives them an incentive to do it on their own and do it quickly instead of waiting for a city contractor and a city contractor would probably
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appreciate that type of work and maybe we can get some revenue out of it also. >> we will have to form some kind of criteria. to say we will do that would be putting false hope out there. >> is there a point where the 60,000 that had been expended is now a loss or is there continued collection? >> the city attorney is on it. you cannot sell or transfer the property without us being reimbursed. but it is now a vacant lot. >> we heard the speaker of the minutes ago. it's mostly heat and light. it's not a big item. a new boiler and heater. >> it would be a huge boiler.
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>> large buildings are supposed to be managed properly. 99.9% of the market managed properly. >> maybe it's something we should put on the agenda for another meeting. >> i would like to request the director to come back to where there might be a solution to that least progress from where what has been done in the past that has not yielded the results in a progressive way so we could continue putting money into the dark cold here that will accumulate over time, something that takes more time from the
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city attorney and staff. there is a solution or a recommendation, something that might be good. >> maybe we could get some numbers and get a perspective on how prevalent the problem is. we are only talking about 1% of property owners. >> it may be instead of the category being so broad, there are going to be those property owners who are not incentivized to do the upgrades or corrections because they will never sell their buildings. whether through deferred maintenance they would rather continue with a blind eye and deaf ears at the expense of the
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tenants. maybe there is an interdepartmental communications by which -- if those public housing or other locations are incentivized or triggered -- >> there is probably a way we could add a step to the code enforcement process so that we would be able to go in, perform the work, be reimbursed on a different method rather than waiting for the sale. we could do it on a different basis and i can explore that with the city attorney and other jurisdictions to see how they can handle it. >> i agree with that. they could never sell a property and basically we are looking at the collection to never ever take place.
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>> can i ask the city attorney unquestioned? is it possible for the department to collect the rent for a month to pay for that? >> i think the director outlined the difficulty in trying to collect whether it is only fees that are owned or if the city is seeking reimbursement. there is a lean process and unfortunately, it is called a judgment lien. they are not paid off -- we cannot go out after rent. there is a possibility you could
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increase penalties the longer the amount is due, you may be able to incentives so there -- they can pay it off before the property sale. this is a regular problem that all city departments are facing. >> i know there are assessment costs put on two properties, but they are paid through property- tax as. could we do the same thing here? >> we could look into that. there are some state law procedures that limit what kinds of actions can be pursued rather than a judgment lane. not all violations of local law could be pursued in that way.
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>> i would like to ask if whether the category here, the difference by the public on the violation and this not only is a health safety issue but also on the light category because it seems to run a parallel course that's violations that require capitalization of costs. at a certain point, if there is negligence by the public, the proper agencies goes and then makes the correction. it goes into this whole category of the tax lien and judgment lien and it would be great if you can or the director can may
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be at the next meeting make some categories of what are possibilities of where code and a or a legislation or policy adjustments can be made necessary to correct this. we seem to be continuing to do the same thing over and over again and we're not getting any results. given we are at a point of this negative direction, i would like to neutralize it is not get into a category that would move both the department and incentivize property owners, especially those who are not going to look toward selling their property but in the long term can say keep doing the improvements. i'm not going to do anything because i'm never going to sell my property therefore you're doing my work for me. >> we would probably bring in
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our code enforcement team which is one of the groups within the city attorney's office. we may have a number of attorneys involved and have different experience, so it might be to meetings out. >> at least a global by which we can get our arms around it and from there we could work out the details because the legislative policy would be something we could enact or enforce at some targeted date in the future. >> i would be a little bit leery of getting into the construction business. you would have to have the backing of the city management and let's say we got out there
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and spent $100,000 and we would need to be able to do their refunded back from the general fund, otherwise this could get too big and get out of hand and we would end up having to raise fees to cover it and i believe the customers are paying hi-fis enough at the moment. we have to be careful how we tread here. it is something that should definitely be explored. >> is there any public comment? >> it quick question. >> you were talking about
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getting access ability to the building. what does it take to get a contractor in there? does the share of have to escort them? >> we have the right of entry if we have reasonable cause. of us having the right to get in there and the door being opened are two different things. west month -- there are practicalities to this. you have to get a contractor. he has to come out there and i would imagine we would have to get multiple bids. you would have to get three people out there and get the bid and award him the contract for what ever it is. i was out on mission street at the tower theater one month ago during the time of high wind that we had enough fire department and police department were there and we had stainless steel blades --
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that is what you actually called the signed portion and it is wrapped in sheet metal and it is painted. it came loose during though wind and it was threatening to come down. fire would not go near it. police are providing security, so they called us. i go out there and i don't have any safety equipment. i called to people on the list. neither pick up, so i called the third and finally got somebody. he told me it was seen good tamayo and most of his crew was out. he made some phone calls and we got a bucket to assess and we managed to put some straps on it. is that way today. but there is a lot of
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practicalities, all lot of coordination that needs to be done. we are not in the construction business. i can see there is room for improvement and room for a repeat offender for a building owner that has clearly shown no ambition to fix the problem. if you could see the boiler, it is probably the original boiler and this building was built in bed 1900's. that the boiler should have been replaced 20 years ago. looks like something that should be in a museum. i was surprised when i sought. -- when i saw it. >> just keep in mind that each year, we notify all properties that have not paid their initial
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fees from the code enforcement process. there are about 150 properties being notified right now. the average fee might be $1,500. any of those who do not pay, it goes on to the property-tax bill. not all of them will be in default. a good portion will be captured. with regard to those vacant buildings, there are 20 properties with nine times penalties assessed because they did not register their building. there will be lanes and if they do not pay, there will be a total of 123,000 assessed that would be spread on to their property tax bills. i'm not sure the director may be aware, but some of the moneys for the vacant building
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ordinance may be going into that demolition fund. as with deputy director mentioned earlier, the fund was totally depleted. but with this new ordinance that may have some funds available, that may be part of the discussion. >> i have a question. would you be able to, in working with the director, come up with a summary of the last five years with amounts on an annual basis how much we are lean and how much today on the cumulative costs we are out of pocket? what we are having to carry this -- it is money that goes
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out and we have no way of recouping. >> we would be happy to do it. >> biggest -- the costs out of the department are salary and label -- the salary and labor. we have not gotten anything outside of the one case where we have called in another outside contractor and a road someone else for doing work. the costs are department all costs that need to be assessed for internal work that has occurred on a complaint today. there is not any outside many code to anyone else at this time. the repair and demolition fund has not been funded in the last five years and there is a money as a result of the funding we
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did when we defunded the surf fund. there's about $300,000 in that fund, but if we start expanding it to repair every vacant or blighted building in that city, we would expand that fund in the first two or three. we have to be careful about prioritizing where do you want to expand any fund out of the repair and demolition fund because it's meant for emergency purposes where we call in contractors on an emergency basis such as the emergency with metal on this fine bladed coming off. that was declared an emergency and he could use the funds for that. it is that type of situation. >> thank you.
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public comment? >> thank you for discussion. the primary function of government is the health and safety of the citizenry. i'm talking about -- there was a notice of violation that was given 24 hours. i'm talking eight days without heat. five days without hot water. seven days without any electricity, no lights, no refrigeration, no nothing. i handstand there is a cost factor, but the cost factor to someone's life and safety is your primary responsibility and of the responsibility of the city of san francisco to protected citizenry. there has to be a prioritization
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of the process, but somewhere along the line, eight days without electricity, the inspector may telephone call to the landlord. how long does it take before something is done by the city? it's not an enforcement agency. our reporting i notice of violation and goes nowhere. >> thank you. >> good morning. thank you for this discussion on complaints. last month, i was here to express my frustration over the lack of a timely response to investigate my report of and permitted worked next door and
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calling jack hammering the concrete foundation and excavation of the dirt. only after the new rear astaire's -- only for the new rear stairs being built. there was no nov for the basement with electrical lines and plumbing lines dangling in the air without any support. these safety issues remain today. my experience has been dismal with few items with permitted work. two and a half years ago, i reported the illegal horizontal edition of the house next door and providing date photograph of its under construction in 1984. no permit was sound for the structure. it has never been inspected.
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as of today, there is still no nov for the work. i have a photograph of it being built and no permit has been found for it. the amount of investigation was consistent of leaving a message while you were out notice which was on the house while the house was a registered vacant building. no other follow-up. that was one year ago. over two years ago, i complained about a kitchen remodel and it was down to the steads. i reported it to an inspector who was at the property, standing with me, looking at the invisible external plumbing and mechanical events. these events and windows had been boarded up. very clear work. the case was opened and closed
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without any investigation in the complaint was resolved with case closed, pending further notice. violations so obvious that it should have been issued on the spot. i renewed these complaints this year in writing and not receive a reply nor has there been any follow-up to what happened. if you want the public to trust you are protecting us, you must properly and timely investigate our complaints. that includes getting out of the car and looking around and not just leaving a notice of please call on the vacant building. when there is no permanent and -- and it is time -- thank you. i'm going to leave you some information on the back up of some of the things i have presented. thank you for your time. >> thank you.
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>> good morning, commissioners. to commissioner lee, it's one thing to have nine times the permit fees and ca go to the board of appeals and have them kickback. everyone who gets a notice of violation turns into a lamp at the board of appeals. when it's time to argue that penalties. a little cooperation might make enforcement a little easier to incentivize. my client -- i cannot believe as an architect i can go to a job site repeatedly and see violations as plain as the nose on my face. they don't get much plainer. the department does a great job. there is all sorts of code enforcement and a big staff and director hearings. i have beo